Ariana Grande's 'Honeymoon' Tour Hits Brooklyn: The 8 Most Memorable Moments
Ariana Grande brought the house down at Brooklyn's Barclays Center Saturday night (Sept. 26) during the first show of her two-night run at the arena. The singer's legions of cat-ear-sporting fans (most of whom were at least a few years away from getting their driver's licenses) supported her with well-intentioned shrieks, as she effortlessly filled the Nets' home court with her signature diva-in-training runs and wails.
The explosive (literally) show was filled with surprises -- read on for some of Grande's biggest moments.
1. Prince Royce Takes on The Weeknd
Bachata-prince-turned-crossover-artist Prince Royce picked some typically seductive covers for his opening set. First, Usher's "Nice and Slow" ("Don't tell me New York don't know that song," he said when the youthful crowd failed to display adequate enthusiasm for the 1998 single) and then The Weeknd's sultry "Earned It," which he used as a lead-in to inviting one lucky concertgoer onstage, ultimately serenading her and giving her a single rose (!).
2. Ariana Kicks Things Off With a "Bang"
The show started with a minute-long countdown (because, as Grande put it in the pre-show video, "It should start, I think, with a countdown") before Grande rose out of the floor, pink pyrotechnics illuminating the stage as she sang her Nicki Minaj/Jessie J collaboration "Bang Bang" (get it?). Sporting thigh-high Louboutin boots, she rapped along to Nicki's verse surrounded by buff, mostly-shirtless male back-up dancers -- a definitive start if there ever was one.
3. No Qualms About Her "Best Mistake"
Grande's break-up with rapper Big Sean earlier this year could easily make things awkward -- after all, the former couple has three songs together. But Grande still performed bother "Best Mistake" and "Right There," with Big Sean's face looming large on the Jumbotron, his video proxy cheerfully rapping along. She did follow "Best Mistake" with "Break Your Heart Right Back" -- perhaps a subtle dig?
4. The Mic Cut Out, and the Fans Chimed In
Grande's mic stopped working during "Right There," but it wasn't an issue for the fans, who enthusiastically finished the song in spite of losing her powerful voice. "Y'all saved the whole show," she told the crowd.
5. Grande Meets Gatsby
Ariana's set took a turn for the Jazz Age, introduced by her DJ's tap dance routine (he requested that the audience snap along). After that, the junior diva floated in on an enormous, glimmering chandelier as her dancers re-emerged in tuxes and flapper dresses, dancing on cabaret tables. It wasn't all retro though -- Grande, in a dress covered in shimmering white fringe, led the group in The Whip during Mac Miller collaboration "The Way."
6. Where Brooklyn At?
Grande shared that most of her family is from Brooklyn during the show, and that many of them were in the crowd that night, making for an extra special performance. The singer even showed off her best approximation of a BK accent when she said, "This next song is really old -- it's called 'Pink Champagne.'"
7. An Almost-Bieber Duet
"What Do You Mean"/"One Last Time" mash-ups have dominated the Internet since the new Justin Bieber tune dropped, so it only makes sense that Grande would incorporate the fitting mash-up into her live show. Her soaring vocals proved the perfect accompaniment to Bieber's lilting melody.
8. A Teachable Moment
Ariana Grande's summer was defined for many by "Donutgate," the fairly frivolous controversy surrounding surveillance video of the singer licking a donut. While (unsurprisingly) she didn't address the incident during the show, she did share the audio of a conversation with her grandfather where he said of the oft-derided Internet (site of much of the post-donut-licking hysteria), "Stay the hell off it."